Why Mindy St. Claire might be the key to 'The Good Place' series finale
Is Mindy the show's version of God?
The Good Place has been the go-to comedy for everything concerning morals, ethics, and the gray areas within both spaces. What does it mean to be a good person? Does one bad deed forever hurt your chances of getting into The Good Place? There isn’t one right or wrong answer to these questions, but it seems Mindy St. Claire has managed to exist in that seldom-visited gray area: The Medium Place. Considering the points system has been broken for centuries now, relegating people to The Bad Place by default, The Good Place Season 4 finale might reveal that Mindy has been integral to The Good Place/Bad Place debacle all along.
To explore the ways in which Mindy might play a major role in The Good Place series finale, let’s backtrack a bit. Who is Mindy St. Claire? As a former corporate lawyer, she spent much of her time high on cocaine and obsessed with money. She then came to the realization she was simply wasting her life and decided to use all of her money to start a charity.
But, then she died. The Medium Place was born from the inability of The Good Place and The Bad Place to reach a final judgement about Mindy’s attempted charity. Did that make her a good person, even though she died before it came to fruition? Should she have been doomed to an eternity of torture? Apparently not.
Mindy not only managed to get into The Medium Place, but she also brokered a deal that allowed her visits from members of The Good Place, a house to live in, and access to television (though she doesn’t get reception to Earth). So if Mindy can get this sweet of a deal in The Medium Place, doesn’t that solve all of the existential problems for the top brass? If the points system is broken and moral and ethical ambiguity is on the rise due to globalization, why aren’t there more people sentenced to The Medium Place?
On Twitter, author Charlie Jane Anders asked, “is Mindy St. Claire the best person who has lived in the past few hundred years?” There’s ample food for thought here, as according to the show’s logic, she is the best person to have lived because she’s the only one to have scored enough points to leave The Bad Place in over 500 years. Still, perhaps there’s even more to Mindy than meets the eye.
Even if Mindy and The Medium Place are the answer to Eleanor, Michael, et al’s dilemma, things are never that simple on the The Good Place. There’s always a twist. So, what if (and it’s a big what if) Mindy St. Claire is the show’s version of God? Wait… what? It sounds ridiculous, but is it really? Hear me out.
The biggest clue is that Mindy has been shown to love gardening and isn’t God heralded as the first and ultimate gardener? After all, the St. in her name is an abbreviation for “Saint”, so maybe Michael Schur has been dropping hints all along and we haven’t been taking note.
Additionally, Mindy has been the only other character aside from the core four to interact with everyone involved in the afterlife. She’s also the only one whose memory is never rebooted. Ever. Perhaps the TV in her living room is there for her to keep tabs on everyone and all that’s happening (she did have that video of Eleanor and Chidi and even helped Eleanor realize her true feelings).
Isn’t it a bit strange that she’s the only person to have lived who was given her own space in the afterlife, created just for her? Is there no one else who walked the line of ethical ambiguity prior to the breaking of the points system? Is Mindy really the one testing everyone else, including the judge and the members of The Good and Bad Place? It might sound farfetched, but The Good Place has a way to turn our expectations upside down.
Of course, The Good Place wouldn’t be the first show to give its own spin on God. Revealing that Mindy is an all-powerful entity masquerading as a former corporate lawyer would be very much on-brand for the comedy series. The show has already offered a unique take on the afterlife, so it makes sense The Good Place version of God would be something similarly irreverent.
The Good Place Season 4 airs Thursdays at 9/8c on NBC.